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    Under The Sand

    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Posts : 1273
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 5
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 1,746,742.5

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Magic: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Magic:

    Under The Sand Empty Under The Sand

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 29th January 2019, 11:54 am

    Job Details:

    Job Title: 100 Year Free-form
    Rank: 100 Year
    Job Location: Anywhere
    Solo Word Count: 12,000 words
    Group Word Count: 24,000 words
    Additional Requirements: N/A
    Job Description: Whatever the player chooses
    Enemies: Whatever the player chooses
    Reward: 155,000 jewels


    Last edited by Leona Jarnefeldt on 6th February 2019, 12:24 am; edited 1 time in total


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Golden Lacrima (Page 9, Post Number 224) until 9/22/2019.
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Posts : 1273
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 5
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 1,746,742.5

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Magic: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Magic:

    Under The Sand Empty Re: Under The Sand

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 31st January 2019, 12:27 am

    -Nebdoui, late afternoon-

    Landing on the outskirts of Nebdoui on the back of her Winged Lion, Leona dispelled the summon and felt the desert wind blow on her face. Wearing her green-and-gold outfit with Adaptable Armor on her torso and Argent Gloves on her hands, Leona also carried her Nightshade Machete and Silver Longsword. She also carried her backpack of supplies because it was handy and she had carried her worldly goods on her back for so long that it had become a habit. The blonde was glad to see that the Crimson Sashes had not destroyed Nebdoui yet, but she was not here for a fight with the bandit group. Chief Elijah had called upon the hometown heroine because some farmers had found a rectangular hole in the sand that featured a stone staircase that led down and it was suspected that they led to underground ruins.

    However, they felt a strong magical signature emanating from the hole and opted to stay away from it due to uncertainty over what might be lurking inside. Leona was here to find out what Chief Elijah wanted her to do about it. She walked into the village and was greeted by some of the locals, including her older brother Leonidas. He was walking by with an armload of newly forged scimitars that glistened in the sun and were well-polished. They were presumably intended for use by the militia of Berreb, which had a lot of farmers in its village but few blacksmiths; that was why Nebdoui helped provide weapons in exchange for agricultural know-how.

    "Hey Leona! I heard that the chief wants to talk to you about something big!" He greeted his younger sister. His magic signature felt stronger than the last time she had met him, which was the occasion in which Leona and Joshua literally buried scimitars along with their feud. Had he been training when not making weapons or repairing items around the village?

    "I read a few of the details in a letter he sent to me. I'm heading to his tent in order to get the full story." Leona told him. He glanced at her Adaptable Armor and was moved to comment.

    "That's some fancy armor you have there, Leona. It looks high-tech. The materials used to make it look modern too." Leonidas said to her.

    "Yeah. I got it as a reward for helping someone get back a valuable book that had been in their family for five generations." Leona told her brother a very brief story about the job that had led her to gaining the armor. She and Althea Eventide of Fairy Tail had to fight their way through a clan of ninjas to retrieve the book. The job was challenging and almost took an ugly turn when the platinum ninjas with elemental magic came out to fight, but Althea helped save the day and find their camp thanks to her warnings during the fight and her timely aid in the fight against the platinum ninjas after the Silver Wolf mage got poisoned by a dart thrown by a dying gold ninja.

    "Well, I'd better get back to work. The weapons for Berreb aren't going to make themselves, you know. I'll catch up with you later." Leonidas said to her before walking back to the blacksmith's tent to resume his work. Leona resumed walking toward the chief's tent and moved the heavy flap that covered the entrance aside. The blonde hoped to get the full story of how the hole was discovered and what might be waiting within.

    -Inside Chief Elijah's tent-

    "Hello Leona! I see that you're doing well!" Chief Elijah gave her a hearty greeting. Standing beside him was Joshua. Off to the right side of the tent tending to a rack of scrolls beside a large map of Desierto was her mother Sophia. On Sophia's left was a wooden table with a few rolled-up scrolls sitting on it and a filled inkwell with a pen sitting inside of it.

    "You could say that. Chief." Leona said to the village's leader. The last few adventures had been stressful ones that involved supernatural entities trying to kill her and her Order allies. She had also been considering whether continuing to work with the Order of Lightbringers was in her best interests or not. They did not seem to fully trust the Silver Wolf mage and appeared to think that she would turn on them if demons or other entities offered the right enticement. Leona was more than a little offended by their lack of trust, but she would deal with that later because Nebdoui needed her help now.

    [Word Count: 775]
    [Total Word Count: 775/12,500]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Golden Lacrima (Page 9, Post Number 224) until 9/22/2019.
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Posts : 1273
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 5
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 1,746,742.5

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Magic: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Magic:

    Under The Sand Empty Re: Under The Sand

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 31st January 2019, 5:40 pm

    "I'll give you the short version, Leona. We've discovered a place that has a magical presence, but we don't know what it is. We want you to investigate the source of the presence and if it's a threat, neutralize the threat." Chief Elijah told her in his inimitable way. He had an uncanny talent for boiling things down to the basics. Leona appreciated that talent because it made her life easier to have the essence of the task handed to her from the get-go of having to dig for it in a bowl of word salad. Now that she knew what had to be done, the blonde mage could go about getting it done.

    "Is there anything else I need to know before I set out?" Leona asked the chief.

    "We don't know what's down there, so be ready for anything." Chief Elijah advised. Leona certainly was ready for anything. She had both Argent Gloves and Adaptable Armor equipped and she had all three weapons with her, so lack of proper equipment was not an issue.

    "Will do. I'll be back as soon as possible." Leona said to the chief. She turned around and started walking away when her mother called to her. Leona turned and faced her mother, who was holding one of the rolled-up scrolls that had been lying on the table.

    "Since you're going into ancient ruins, you may want to take this scroll with you. It's a basic guide to Court Heiromesh. It may help you" Sophia said to her daughter. Leona paused for a moment because she thought that she had brought Professor Rosetta's study guide with her, but then she remembered that she had neglected to bring it. The blonde walked over to her mother and gratefully accepted the scroll because she just might need the help.

    "OK. Thanks." Leona said to Sophia while setting her backpack down and trying to find a place for the scroll. Sophia peered into the backpack and found it to be something of a mess. There was six bottles of bottled water, a canteen of water, a desert cloak, and a change of clothes all haphazardly piled onto each other. Sophia thought that Leona could stand to leave some of the contents here to make room for the scroll.

    "You might want to leave some of that here in order to make room for the scroll." Sophia politely suggested. Leona took a look inside her backpack and thought that her mother might have a good point. She was close to home, so she could leave her desert cloak behind. She could also leave her khaki cargo pants behind because her outfit tops tended to take damage more often than her pants or skirts did. The shirt would stay.

    "OK, I'll take out the cloak and the pants. But the shirt stays." Leona bargained with Sophia while removing the articles in question from the pack. Her mother was not satisfied and took out three of the plastic water bottles and set them on the table. Leona did not have time to argue, so she let that go. Her mother laid a hand on her green t-shirt and Leona took it back.

    "The shirt stays." Leona repeated while making eye contact. Sophia conceded and let the mage keep the shirt. Leona might need it in case her outfit top got shredded during this adventure.

    "All right then. You should be ready to go. Be careful down there, Leona." Sophia said while packing the scroll into Leona's pack, where it fit with ease thanks to the cloak, pants, and half of the water bottles being taken out. Leona closed and secured the pack, then shouldered it again.

    "I'll be careful." Leona said to her mother before leaving the tent.

    -On the outskirts of Nebdoui-

    Leona walked to the location of the rectangular hole in the sand and found that it was exactly as the letter described. It had a stone staircase that led down into it and there was a magical signature emanating from the passage. Leona paused and listened for any sign of trouble like something emerging to defend its subterranean home. She waited but did not hear anything or spot anything rushing from the darkness, so the blonde decided to go inside. Drawing her Nightshade Machete, Leona brought out a weapon best suited for close combat because she did not know how wide the underground passage was.

    Armed with the weapon, Leona lined herself up with the staircase and started to walk down into the darkness. She wondered what the source of the magic signature was. She would do her best to find out.

    [Word Count: 775]
    [Total Word Count: 1,550/12,500]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Golden Lacrima (Page 9, Post Number 224) until 9/22/2019.
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Posts : 1273
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 5
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 1,746,742.5

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Magic: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Magic:

    Under The Sand Empty Re: Under The Sand

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 1st February 2019, 11:58 am

    -Inside the underground passage-

    Leona left the warming rays of the sun behind and entered the dark serenity of the underground passage. Her eyes quickly adjusted to the darkness and she spotted a vast underground hallway with a stone floor that stretched as far as the eye could see. It featured sandstone pillars that stretched to the ceiling and were liberally covered in Court Heiromesh characters, which were recognizable due to their distinctive curving style. Leona set her backpack upon the stone floor and fished out the scroll that her mother had provided her. In between the scroll and the language class she had taken with Professor Rosetta, Leona had enough knowledge to decipher the characters that were at eye level.

    "Here is the court of King Saarghon, sovereign of the desert." One inscription read.

    "I am master of the sand and all who dwell in the desert." Another inscription read.

    "Render praise to he who rules the sands." Still another inscription read.

    Leona noticed a pattern in the inscriptions. They all extolled the virtues of a ruler named "King Saarghon" and described how his kingdom was that of sand. She had never heard of him before and would look him up in the Tri-Council city's Hall of Books when she got a chance to visit the city.

    First she had to press on and discover what it was that was generating the magic signature. She looked down the hallway and spotted a set of stone double doors that were closed and saw a lever nearby. That had to be the way to open the doors. Leona strode towards them while looking around the halls and saw that there were more pillars inscribed with Court Heiromesh, but they all said the same things as the first pillars she had translated did. She turned her attention to the doors, which had an inscription above them that was carved into the stone. Leona managed to translate that one without resorting to the scroll because the message was simple.

    "All who would pass beyond these doors, be warned. The guardians of King Saarghon are ever watchful and do not suffer intruders." The inscription warned. Leona wondered who or what the guardians were and how she would identify them. On second thought, they would not be too hard to identify because they would readily confront her. She put her hands on the lever and pulled down with all her might, opening the stone doors with ease. Beyond the doors lay another long hallway lined with human-sized statues standing in front of the pillars.

    Leona walked through the doorway and the doors slammed shut behind her with a resounding BOOM. There was no going back that way; the only way to go was forward. Leona took a closer look at the statues and saw that they were all human-sized statues of soldiers armed with curved swords and spears of an ancient pattern and wearing equally old armor that covered their torsos. Their eyes were made out of precious jewels like sapphires and rubies. The statues were carved with such detail that they looked almost lifelike.

    Then a thought hit the mage. Why would statues need weapons and armor if they were going to sit underground for the entirety of their lives? Were they the guardians that the inscription warned of?

    The blonde walked down the hallway with only her footsteps and the gazes of the armed statues for company. She stole occasional glances at the floor to look for pressure plates or other devices that could bring the statues to life but had not yet spotted any. The pillars were covered in Court Heiromesh letters that repeated the same messages of praise for the king that she had read earlier. This "King Saarghon" certainly had a high opinion of himself. Leona kept going and kept an eye out for traps or the statues suddenly deciding to come to life for a sparring match.

    She wondered what was generating the magic signature that Chief Elijah had told her about. Was it a magic artifact of great power or a book filled with spells from ancient times? Was it an ancient evil that she had to fight in order to protect Desierto from the threat it posed? She was so preoccupied with that thought that she failed to pay attention to the floor until a tile sunk under her right foot. Leona heard a rumbling sound and saw the statues suddenly start coming to life and brandishing their weapons as they stepped in her way. She hated when she was right.

    "Great. Just great." Leona muttered. It was time to fight statues.

    [Word Count: 775]
    [Total Word Count: 2,325/12,500]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Golden Lacrima (Page 9, Post Number 224) until 9/22/2019.
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Posts : 1273
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 5
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 1,746,742.5

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Magic: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Magic:

    Under The Sand Empty Re: Under The Sand

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 4th February 2019, 12:16 pm

    The statues flexed their arms and turned towards the intruder they were designed to kill, which happened to be a blonde mage with questionable fashion sense. Leona figured that her edged weapons would be about as damaging to their stone bodies as a broom. She would have to use her magic because it offered the only realistic chance of defeating them before she became a pincushion. With that in mind, Leona aimed and fired a Wind Bullet at the head of a spear-wielding statue with emerald eyes that was advancing towards her with spear held in an offensive posture. The head immediately exploded with a scream, revealing a ghostly head

    The decapitated statue stood in place for a few moments before resuming its relentless march towards her. That was not good, but she could not give up. Leona attacked a ruby-eyed statue wielding a sword using a Mach Straight to the chest and was surprised when the chest crumbled to expose nothing but a pale blue body. She recoiled in surprise. She was fighting ghosts who had possessed statues!

    The blonde followed up with a Mach Straight to the face, rearranging his stone face but otherwise doing little harm to it. The ghost brought its sword down in a single-handed chop and almost took off Leona's right arm if she had not brought it to her side just in time. She jumped back and used a Wind Blast, knocking the skin off of five of them and exposing their ghostly forms but otherwise not harming them. The blonde had an idea. If she knocked the stone off of them first, she could use her Silver Longsword to finish them off.

    Leona tried that theory on the very first statue she had attacked, which was the one with the exposed head. She stabbed at its forehead, piercing the ghost and making it drop its weapon as it stood transfixed. When she withdrew the blade it let out an ear-piercing scream and exploded, the rest of its stony form immediately collapsing to the floor after losing what made it move. That was one down, but there were only thirty-four more to go before the fight was over. She attacked another one with a stab through the chest, making it drop its sword before dissolving in a scream.

    The blonde jumped back to avoid retaliation from the other statues and focused on knocking off the stony outer covering of the remaining spectral assailants. She noticed that while the guardians were tough, they were not very fast. She could use their lack of speed to her advantage by killing one and then retreating from the others before their weapons could bite into her flesh. She would have to do that if she wanted to get out of here alive. She used an Air Burst to knock holes in the chests of eight more before landing and having to dodge for her life to avoid a spear to the face or chest.

    Leona rolled to her right and stabbed upward into the exposed chest, then had to jump backwards to evade a spear thrust from an intact armored ghost; the timing of the dodge was so close that the spear point stopped just when it touched the front of her Adaptable Armor. She quickly put some distance between them and used another Wind Blast to knock off the chest armor of five more statues before having to retreat again because the spear-wielders were getting uncomfortably close. While running away she noticed a pattern... the ghosts were getting smarter and deliberately putting the spear-wielding ones up front to pressure her into either retreating or pressing an attack too hard and making a costly mistake that the other guardians could exploit. That was actually kind of smart. However, the mage had an idea.

    If her blade could not cut through their armor and do damage, maybe the energy blades of her new summon could. There was enough space to summon Sky Champion Rafale and enough time. Since she could summon him mentally, she could keep fighting instead of having to stand around and do an elaborate chant.

    "SKY CHAMPION SUMMON!" Leona thought as she swatted aside three spears of the enemies advancing upon her. Moments later the green-and-white summon with pink energy blades and a winged helmet arrived. He stood up and brandished his weapons.

    "You called for me?" Rafale asked her. Leona nodded quickly.

    "What would you ask of me?" Rafale asked her.

    "Help me with these guys! My weapons can't cut through their armor!" Leona told Rafale.

    [Word Count: 775]
    [Total Word Count: 3,100/12,500]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Golden Lacrima (Page 9, Post Number 224) until 9/22/2019.
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Posts : 1273
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 5
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 1,746,742.5

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Magic: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Magic:

    Under The Sand Empty Re: Under The Sand

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 4th February 2019, 11:20 pm

    "I will handle this." Rafale confidently informed Leona. He took one of his energy blades and swung it, firing a crescent of purple energy that knocked off the chest armor of a statue that moved towards Leona. He then brought down his second blade and cut the spear in half, rendering it virtually useless except as a bludgeon. Leona jumped in and stabbed it through the torso with her Silver Longsword, banishing it to the next world and leaving her dangerously close to a sword-wielding guardian who had its weapon held aloft for a downward chop.

    "Be careful!" Rafale warned as Leona jumped back just in time to avoid the swing. Rafale fired off another energy crescent towards the offender that connected and exposed the blue ectoplasm by breaking away the chest. Leona used a horizontal left-to-right swing to cut it in half and defeat it. She still had thirty-odd guardians to contend with, but now she had a good idea of how to defeat her assailants. Rafale's energy blades would cut through their outer coating and her Silver Longsword would deliver the final blow.

    Rafale cut through the spears of three guardians whose torsos had been damaged by an earlier Wind Blast. Leona traded places with him and used a horizontal sword swing to cut through two of the three enemies before having to halt in mid-swing and roll to the right side, landing on her side and lying dangerously exposed to the enemy. Three spear-wielding enemies marched up to the prone mage and began stabbing downward, their spearheads biting the ground but missing the rolling mage.

    "LEONA!" Rafale called out before leaping beside her and carving into them with his weapons. Their torsos were exposed and their weapons cut in two, leaving them barehanded as the sky champion leaped into the air and charged through the crowd with energy blades held out. The two blades cut into the enemies and exposed vulnerable parts of their bodies for Leona's Silver Longsword to attack. Rafale had done a lot of the work, but the blonde still needed to follow up on it by defeating the enemies he had damaged. Leona got to her feet and started to follow through on Rafale's work.

    She ducked under the punch of one, then popped up and stabbed it in the chest with her weapon. She withdrew it and lashed out with a horizontal slash that cut a second ghost in half. She turned to the third and sidestepped a punch aimed at her face before retaliating with a downward diagonal slash that cut through the ectoplasm with no resistance at all. The two were slowly whittling down the number of enemies they had to face, but it was grueling work because there were so many of them.

    Leona could not leave any of them active in case she had to retrace her steps: she did not want to leave enemies behind her in case they tracked her through the ruins. Fighting two enemies at once was seldom a good idea and she did not want to get trapped between enemies if she could help it. The blonde jumped back to avoid a spear thrust and Rafale fired an energy crescent that exposed the head of the attacker. She quickly followed up with a stab through the head and defeated it, then ducked to avoid a spear thrust that grazed the collar of her Adaptable Armor and barely missed the side of her neck. She hit the enemy with a Mach Straight to the chest and followed with a stab that defeated it.

    Now they were down to twenty-something enemies. Rafale was still busy cutting through stony exteriors and cleaving their weapons apart whenever he could... he was making life a lot easier for Leona by that and drawing the attention of some of the guardians away from her and onto himself. She faced down three whose glowing torsos were exposed and cut through all three in one two-handed horizontal swing. She had just brought the sword back into a ready position when she was hit in the armor with a thrust from a spear that only penetrated halfway but almost knocked her off of her feet from the impact.

    "LEONA!" Rafale called out, leaping to her aid and cutting the spear in half. The spearhead was embedded in her armor, but Leona did not feel any bleeding. The armor had stopped the ancient spear from punching through to her abdomen. The sky champion quickly stabbed through its torso and left a hole that Leona swiftly exploited with a stab of her own. The guardian crumbled and the two faced the remaining enemies, who had formed up into ranks and were marching on them.

    "Get ready, Leona!" Rafale warned his mistress.

    "I'm OK, Rafale. I'm not out of the fight yet." Leona assured him, using her free hand to grab the spearhead by its base and yank it out of her armor. She then threw the spearhead at an enemy, hitting it in the face in a gesture of defiance that was certain to be lost on ghosts. Even if they were not hurt by the weapon, they would deduce that Leona was not going to run from them and that she and Rafale would fight to the finish. That was the entire point of Leona's seemingly worthless gesture. She would stand and fight.

    Leona used a Wind Blast to damage more enemies and leave them open to future attack. Rafale flung energy crescents at enemies who had not yet been harmed. The odds were slowly turning in their favor.

    [Word Count: 950]
    [Total word Count: 4,050/12,500]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Golden Lacrima (Page 9, Post Number 224) until 9/22/2019.
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Posts : 1273
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 5
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 1,746,742.5

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Magic: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Magic:

    Under The Sand Empty Re: Under The Sand

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 5th February 2019, 12:30 am

    After cleaving through a few more spectral enemies wearing stone for armor, Leona was now facing a little over two dozen active enemies. Rafale had taken a few hits and was bleeding but otherwise kept at it by cutting weapons and attacking anything that was not Leona. This battle was exhausting because of the sheer number of enemies that they had to fight. Would this fight ever end? As it turned out, the answer was yes.

    "What is the meaning of this?" Rafale asked the question on Leona's mind as the enemies lowered their weapons. The eyes of the statues flashed and they broke ranks, returning to their positions in front of the pillars and resuming their eternal watch. A booming disembodied voice spoke to them in Court Heiromesh with a mildly pleased tone on their voice.

    "Well done, intruder. I have called off my guardians, but know that I have countless more standing ready to serve me. You may proceed to the next room. I look forward to seeing how you do in the trials to come." The voice told Leona. Leona and Rafale looked at one another. Who did the voice belong to and why did they call off the statues?

    "Why... why did they call off the statues?" Rafale asked her.

    "I don't know, Rafale. I'm sure that we're gonna pay a high price for it later, but right now let's count our blessings." Leona suggested to her companion. She was glad for the reprieve because the statues were pushing her and Rafale to their limits. They were not individually tough, but they were relentless and fought in groups. The pair walked to the door on the other side of the room that was now open and passed between two statues holding spears. Their gemstone eyes glimmered in a sinister fashion as if letting Leona know that her every move was being watched by the owner of the voice.

    -Inside the next room-

    Leona and Rafale passed through the doorway and the stone door slammed shut behind them. The pair faced a long room with a set of stone stairs that led to a bridge over a pool of water. Leona did not see any threat in the situation, but Rafale was not so relaxed.

    "I will fly over the area first." Rafale said before going airborne and flying over the pool. Leona turned and began searching the walls for any clues that could help her get through this new challenge. There was no way that this was the challenge the voice spoke of. There had to be a catch to all of this.

    Leona glanced at the walls near the door but found nothing of interest, not even a single letter of Court Heiromesh above the door or beside it. Leona sat down on the stone floor and stretched her legs to ward off cramping and to get off of her feet for a few minutes. The outfit boots were not quite as good as the tan boots she had been wearing because of the high heel part that transferred every bit of shock from the jumping and dodging she did to her feet. That was the price Leona paid to look like a proper Guild Master. She really needed to look into getting better boots that matched her outfit or at least getting some gel inserts so that jumping and running was not as stressful on her feet.

    "Have you seen anything yet?" Leona telepathically asked Rafale, who was still flying over the pool with his eyes focused downward.

    "Not yet. The water is clear. Rafale answered with concern. He did not like the look of things and Leona could not blame him. Everything was too calm. Where were the enemies? If the voice had countless guardians at his command, then why were they not here yet?

    They were probably waiting until she was on the bridge before appearing in order to trap her there. The bridge had no side railing, so it would be a simple matter to shove her off and into the water below, where more danger would presumably be waiting for her with open arms... or jaws. The blonde examined the armor where the spearhead had pierced halfway and found that it had prevented a puncture wound. A quick probe of the armor found that there were no blood or any sign of injury. That was good because Leona was far away from medical attention and she could not afford to get hurt so early.

    "This is strange. I have been flying above the water and around the bridge. Why has nothing appeared yet?" Rafale asked Leona.

    "I bet it's because I haven't stepped on the bridge yet. As soon as I step on it, something will show up." Leona opined to her faithful summon. Rafale hummed.

    "I suppose you may be right. Watch your step!" He warned her. Leona stood up and stretched her legs again, then began to walk towards the bridge and up the stairs. She glanced at the bridge, which was a no-frills pathway suspended above water that looked to be ankle-deep. As soon as she set foot on it the situation started to change for the worse. The water started to fill with ghostly white hands that reached out of the water, looking to grab anything that came within reach and pull it down.

    "Watch out!" Rafale shouted as he narrowly avoided having an ankle grabbed by the ghostly hands. Leona put away her Silver Longsword and began to run across the bridge.

    [Word Count: 950]
    [Total Word Count: 5,000/12,500]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Golden Lacrima (Page 9, Post Number 224) until 9/22/2019.
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

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    Second Magic: Wind Summon Magic
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    Under The Sand Empty Re: Under The Sand

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 5th February 2019, 9:59 am

    Leona started running with everything she had as Rafale flew above her. She did not want to fall into the water because the hands were reaching out and waiting for her to fall in. Even ankle-deep water would be enough for her to drown in if her face was forced under the water. After having come close to drowning in the cistern under the Abandoned Cabin, Leona did not want to go through that unpleasant experience again. If it had not been for Order Knight Jessica and her timely help the blonde might have become a permanent resident of the Cursed Lands.

    The blonde had reached the quarter mark when the bridge itself started to change on her. It began to shake and wobble like it was about to give way at any moment. Leona did not want to test whether the bridge would collapse or not by hanging around; she wanted to get off of it as soon as possible. She traversed the wobbling structure with care, slowing down to a brisk walk in order to keep her balance. The abrupt shift in structural integrity was unexpected but it was not too challenging.

    Leona kept walking until she reached the halfway point, where the bridge threw another curve ball at her by suddenly dipping down like it would collapse. The mage stifled a scream as she paused in front of a section that dipped down and waited for it to rise again, then jumped onto it and hit the ground running. She crossed the section and got off of it just as it plunged again. Her joy was short-lived because the section she had gotten on immediately plunged, making her scream as it halted just within reach of the spectral hands. The blonde kept her balance and drew her Silver Longsword, using short swings of the silver blade to attack the hands and keep them from latching onto her legs and pulling her off. If she was pulled off now she might not be able to get back onto solid ground again.

    After a tense minute where the hands drifted dangerously close to her the bridge section lifted again and lasted just long enough for her to get to "safer" ground on the next part. She was three-fourths of the way across when the final trick came into play. The bridge shook again as Rafale flew just overhead, extending a hand towards her.

    "TAKE MY HAND!" He urged her. Leona reached out with her free hand and grabbed on just as the bridge completely gave way beneath her feet. Rafale took a few moments to adjust to holding a passenger by gripping her free hand with both hands, then moved forward and over the gap with his mistress dangling below. Leona breathed a sigh of relief as Rafal ferried her across and set her down onto solid ground. The blonde was glad that part was over.

    Leona stood up and turned around. Everything was back to normal. The bridge was intact and there were no ghostly hands reaching out for prey. Was everything that happened before the work of a strong illusion spell? She had no way to know for certain... what she did know was that she needed to keep moving before any more unpleasant surprises turned up.

    "I... I do not understand what just happened. The hands, the collapsing bridge... everything was so real." Rafale voiced what Leona was thinking.

    "I don't get it either. I'm just glad that it's over." Leona replied. Rafale hummed and turned towards the stone door just to their left, pointing to it with a white-gloved hand.

    "There is the way forward. Do not get complacent, Leona." Rafale advised her. She nodded and walked towards the gray stone door, which opened to show another room that was a long corridor. Leona spotted nothing dangerous, so she walked inside and paid close attention to where she was stepping. Rafale followed close behind her, ready to ferry her through the air again if the situation demanded it.

    -In the next room-

    The door slammed shut behind them, leaving Leona and Rafale in a corridor that had several bleached skeletons lying on the ground with long-dried pools of blood beneath them. That was not a good sign. Leona walked over to the nearest skeleton and crouched down to examine it. The skull had a small puncture wound where something sharp had punched through. The wound was too small to be inflicted by a sword or a spear... some other weapon had to have killed the person.

    Leona stood up and began slowly walking across the lengthy corridor while checking for pressure plates or tripwires. The trouble was that all the floor tiles looked the same, which was the point of building triggers into the floor. The blonde's pace was glacial as she looked for seams or slight bulges in the floor that could give away a special tile. She paused in place and looked for clues written on the walls. She saw a dusty inscription on the left wall that was cryptic, but it was the only clue available.

    "Light feet shall ease one's passage." The inscription read. Leona was puzzled by that. What did it mean by light feet? Was it a clue related to her weight?

    "Light feet shall ease one's passage." Leona repeated the cryptic clue aloud. She wondered what that meant and thought about it before taking another step forward. Rafale thought about it too as his green eyes met her eyes.

    "Wait a moment, Leona. I wonder if light feet has something to do with one's footwear." Rafale voiced his opinion. Leona had no other ideas, so she encouraged him to speak.

    "Go ahead, Rafale. Tell me what's on your mind." Leona said to him.

    "I think the riddle means that you have to take off your boots to gain safe passage." Rafale surmised aloud.

    [Word Count: 1,000]
    [Total Word Count: 6,000/12,500]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Golden Lacrima (Page 9, Post Number 224) until 9/22/2019.
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

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    Second Magic: Wind Summon Magic
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    Under The Sand Empty Re: Under The Sand

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 5th February 2019, 2:13 pm

    "Take off my boots? How would that make me able to cross the room safely?" Leona asked Rafale. Taking off her boots in ruins like this might not be such a good idea. There might be blades in the ground that would pop out and stab her in the feet. She then realized that her boots would not stop the blades even if she wore them because they did not have steel sole inserts. The best way around that problem was to not get stabbed at all.

    "Think about it. If you step on a tile, even with your toes, there is enough pressure to set off a trap." Rafale said to her. His answer did not make much sense, but Leona was not renowned for her towering intellect. She was more of a fighter.

    "So you think light feet means going barefoot? What if it means just running fast?" Leona asked him for the sake of discussion. She was still not sure if taking off her boots in unexplored ruins was a good idea. His point of view had merit, but her primary concern was getting tetanus from a blade to the foot.

    However, if they spent all day bickering about the meaning of a possible clue that was a few thousand years old, Desierto would probably be green again by the time she got out of here, if she ever did. She would just go barefoot and hope for the best. Leona took off her boots and held them in her hands, then began to walk forward.

    "Pay attention to the floor, Leona!" Rafale advised her. Leona obligingly looked down and found that her toes had just pressed down a nondescript floor tile, but not quite enough to trigger a trap... or so she thought. Leona's face went white as darts started raining down from the ceiling and bouncing off the stone floor. It turned out that the threat did not come from the floor, but instead from above. if she had stepped just a bit farther forward she would have gotten a few holes in the top of her head. Rafale's face flashed a look of concern.

    "I see what you mean. You were right, Rafale." Leona commented as the steel rain stopped. She quickly jumped over the tile and landed on one that thankfully did not set off another rain of darts. She kept her boots off and Rafale followed her by flying, staying nearby in case he had to lift his mistress to safety. The blonde carefully traversed the rest of the floor until the halfway point without any further incidents.

    At the halfway point Leona stopped to take a break and examine her surroundings for any other helpful clues that could keep her from getting a steel dart through the top of her head or suffering any number of other unpleasant fates. She did not see anything helpful, so she turned her eyes to the floor and slowly walked tile-by-tile hoping that she did not step on one that could end her life.

    The barefoot blonde was making slow but safe progress when her toes touched another tile that started to sink into the floor. Leona stepped back and watched as the darts rained down harmlessly onto the stone floor, one even PLINKing off the floor and landing in front of the toes of her left foot. Leona waited for the darts to stop firing before she jumped over the tile and went on her way. She eventually reached the end of the room and put her boots back on... her feet were hurting from the jumping, but it beat steel darts punching through her skull any day.

    "Well done, Leona." Rafale complimented her in a mild "See? I was right!" way.

    "Thanks for the tip, Rafale." Leona thanked her summon who had the right answer after all. It sounded dumb on the surface, but his answer proved to be the right one because not having boots on helped Leona feel whenever a tile sunk into the ground, giving her just enough time to step back and avoid acupuncture. She was grateful that Rafale was patient enough to stand his ground without resorting to yelling or name-calling.

    Once the blonde put her boots back on she walked over to the next door with Rafale standing right behind her. The pair entered the room, which was an empty hallway with nothing but torches in wall sconces that had never been lit. As soon as they were through the door shut behind them.

    "I do not like this, Leona." Rafale warned her. Her natural night vision took effect and she was able to see through the gloom. She was in a narrow corridor with only enough space for the mage and her summon to walk side-by-side.

    "Neither do I." Leona said to him. She did not like the look of the hallway either because there was nothing in it. It was simply too quiet. A look at the walls did not give a helpful inscription this time, so the blonde would just have to watch her step and be ready to dodge or fight at a moment's notice. She started walking as Rafale followed right behind her.

    The two made their way down the hall with only each other and their footsteps for company. It was too quiet for comfort; the silence was almost deafening. At least the silence allowed for them to hear any threats that approached them... or could they? Leona led the way down the dark hall and looked for something, anything that could give her a hint as to what to do next other than stumble forward in the dark.

    After several minutes of slow walking Leona and Rafale arrived at the end of the hallway and faced a set of stone double doors like the ones Leona had opened at the entrance many minutes ago. She instinctively looked for a lever to pull.

    [Word Count: 1,000]
    [Total Word Count: 7,000/12,500]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Golden Lacrima (Page 9, Post Number 224) until 9/22/2019.
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

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    Second Magic: Wind Summon Magic
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    Under The Sand Empty Re: Under The Sand

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 6th February 2019, 12:23 am

    Leona looked towards the wall for a level to pull and found one on the wall to her right. The blonde placed both hands onto it and pulled downward with all her strength. The stone doors popped open and almost smacked Rafale in the face, making the sky champion jump back in fright.

    "Sorry about that!" Leona apologized to her summon, who was not happy with what had almost happened.

    "I would appreciate a little more warning next time." Rafale commented sourly.

    "I didn't expect it to open so suddenly. Sorry." Leona apologized to him again before walking past him and through the open double doors. The miffed sky champion jogged through them and the doors slammed shut, leaving them facing a lengthy but narrow corridor like the one they had just exited. More statues like the guardians Leona had encountered in the first room lined the corridor with their arms crossed in judgment. Their gemstone eyes occasionally glimmered when looked into.

    "Leona, look. Above the door we just entered through." Rafale pointed with a white-gloved hand. Leona spun around and found another inscription in Court Heiromesh. This one was not as cryptic as the inscription in the dart room.

    "Do not step where red flashes." The writing warned. Leona was getting quite a bit of practical experience in translating Court Heiromesh. She was glad that she had taken the course with Professor Rosetta because the knowledge gained from it was literally saving her life. So far she had avoided death by steel dart through the top of the head and was going to avoid death by stepping where red flashed.

    "Do not step where red flashes." Leona repeated aloud. She looked towards the statues at the same time Rafale did and they reached the same conclusion. Leona was not to step anywhere the ruby-eyed statues were looking. However, that was easier said than done because the narrow hallway worked against her due to the limited space. Then she had an idea.

    "Hey Rafale, do you think that you can just fly me over the tiles?" Leona asked her summon. He simply looked at her and crossed his arms.

    "I can do it." Rafale confidently asserted. Leona was glad to hear that because she was not feeling like another slow walk down a hallway. She was going to take a shortcut for a change.

    Leona let Rafale lift her by the waist and start flying over the tiles. Leona was just high enough off the ground where her feet did not touch the floor, thus making sure that no tile traps were triggered. It was one of the smartest ideas that the blonde had had in quite some time. She glided down the hall without any issues and without taking any injuries. Once she reached the end of the hallway Leona breathed a sigh of relief. She waited for Rafale to land and then went through the door.

    The sheer length of the ruins was starting to get to Leona. She had been traveling without a break since before the steel dart room and had to slow down. Leona sat down on the floor and faced a room with another pool, but this time it was filled with sand instead of water. There was something strange and creepy about a pool of sand sitting in the ruins, but she supposed that it was natural for a desert ruin to have a pool of sand. Rafale pointing to another inscription momentarily derailed that train of thought.

    "To reach the other side, one must cross the sea of sand." It read. Leona did not need a scholar to decipher its meaning. She was going to have to wade through the sand... or did she?

    "Can you help me cross the sand?" Leona asked Rafale. He gave a thumbs-up and a smile.

    "I can do that." He announced. He had grabbed Leona around the waist and was taking off when he noticed another warning and raised a hand, dropping Leona to the ground. The hapless blonde landed on her backside and yelled. Rafale circled around in the air and landed next to his mistress with a blush on his face.

    "I apologize for that, Leona. I saw another inscription and attempted to point it out to you. However, my timing was... poor." Rafale apologized to her while offering a hand to help her up. Leona was not mad at him. Rather, she was glad that he had pointed out something else to read. She took the helping hand up and looked where Rafale pointed, which was to the right of the door they had entered through.

    "Beware the guardians of the sandy sea." The warning read. Leona turned away from it and looked towards the sand in front of her. What kind of guardians could possibly be lurking under the sand?

    "Might I suggest that you throw something in the sand before walking onto it?" Rafale suggested. Leona thought that was a good idea and brought out one of her three plastic bottles of water to throw. She threw it onto the sand and watched to see what would happen. She got more than she bargained for when she saw five crocodile heads emerge from the sand and swim over to the bottle, then take it into their jaws and bite into it, spewing water everywhere. After grabbing the bottle in their teeth one of them dove into the sand with it and began doing the death roll, stirring the sand as it spun just beneath the surface.

    "Did... did you see that?" Leona asked incredulously.

    "I saw it." Rafale answered flatly. There was something not entirely right about the crocodiles. They were clearly not average crocodiles because they could swim in sand like water and they could exist in sand with no problems. No matter what, Leona was not going to wade in the sand if she could possibly avoid doing so.

    [Word Count: 1,000]
    [Total Word Count: 8,000/12,500]


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    Golden Lacrima (Page 9, Post Number 224) until 9/22/2019.
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

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    Second Magic: Wind Summon Magic
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    Under The Sand Empty Re: Under The Sand

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 7th February 2019, 12:10 am

    Leona tried to think of a way to cross over the sand without getting grabbed and mauled by sand crocodiles. Flying was the most obvious and safest solution, but she was not sure if Rafale alone could help her. She might need to use more flying summons to get across safely; the plan was to fly on the back of one and use the other three as decoys. As callous as sacrificing her summons was, it might be the only way to cross without ending up as crocodile food.

    Leona took a deep breath and looked at Rafale.

    "I don't know how else to say this, so I'll cut to the chase. I may need a distraction." Leona said to Rafale with great reluctance. He held a hand up to stop the discussion in its tracks.

    "I will volunteer." He said to her. Leona felt even more guilty now than she did when she first suggested the plan. However, she needed to cross that gap or she was going to get nowhere. Leona nodded and summoned her Winged Lion. She climbed into its back and secured all her belongings because there would be no going back if she dropped anything onto the sand.

    "OK, Rafale... I'd like you to fly over the sand. And draw their attention." Leona said to him. Rafale nodded and took flight. Leona took to the air on her Winged Lion and watched as the sand crocodiles began to form into a tight group below with their heads in the center and their bodies pointing outward like spokes on a wheel, waiting for anyone to fall into the sand. Leona was over the sand and noticed the crocodiles forming up but was not prepared for what happened next. Rafale flew just ahead of them to act as a distraction and one of the crocodiles actually jumped out of the sand to try and get him!

    Leona screamed as she flew forward, the sand stirred up from the jump hitting her in the face. Rafale was still in the air and the blonde was halfway across the gap. Now that she knew that they could jump, Leona had to keep going no matter what happened. Pausing or turning back would mean death.

    Leona had just gotten over the first attack when more leaping crocodiles tried to grab Rafale and her lion in their jaws. One of them burst out of the sand just in front of them, causing Leona to scream as her lion took evasive action and made a sharp left to avoid the snapping jaws. It continued to fly forward, zigzagging between more leaping crocodiles and throwing its rider around on its back. Leona could not wait to land.

    "KEEP GOING!" Rafale urged Leona as he flew beside her. They were three-fourths of the way across and continued to dodge leaping attacks as they closed in on the other side of the room. The attacks became more frequent and more determined, as if the crocodiles were trying to stop their prey from getting across for reasons other than making sure they did not miss a meal. Leona finally touched down on the lion and jumped off of its back, then turned to face Rafale, who was still busy dodging airborne attacks.

    "RAFALE!" Leona called out.

    "GO! GET OUT OF HERE!" The sky champion called out to her as he got just high enough to dodge a set of jaws snapping at his feet. Moments later another attack almost snagged his left arm as he flew towards Leona. He had almost made it when a crocodile jumped straight up and snagged him around his legs, dragging him down and into the sand!

    "NO!" Leona shouted, rushing over to the edge of the sand where Rafale had surfaced with his energy blades activated. His legs were badly hurt and it was obviously all he could do to stand up.

    "GET BACK, LEONA!" Rafale sternly ordered. Leona backed off as more crocodiles surrounded him and started swimming through the sand. They were making no attempt to be stealthy about their approach. It was almost like they wanted to be seen.

    "IT IS TOO LATE FOR ME! GO! GO WHILE I DISTRACT THEM!" He ordered. Leona moved to go after him but the lion spoke against it.

    "Go, Leona. Do not let his sacrifice be in vain." The lion urged her in a deep voice. Leona turned away from the sound of fighting, dispelled the lion, and ran through the door while Rafale fought a losing battle against the guardians of the sandy sea. It was fortunate that the door slammed shut when it did because Leona could no longer bear to hear what was going on.

    -Inside the hallway-

    Leona leaned against the wall of the wide hallway and eventually slid down to a sitting position between a pair of lit torches that glowed orange. She had two reasons for sitting down. The first was to get over the narrow escape from the leaping crocodiles. The second was to get over leaving Rafale to his temporary death. While he was only a summon who could easily be called upon any time she wanted, Leona did not want to get into the habit of treating her summons like they were expendable. They trusted her to treat them fairly and not risk their lives without a very good reason.

    The blonde was upset with herself for not helping Rafale out of the sand pit. She felt like he did not have a choice in volunteering himself as a distraction because he was a summon. Leona knew that he did what he did to give her a chance to get to safety. He had accomplished his mission. Why was Leona so upset?

    She did not know why. She had killed groups of bandits before without even feeling bad afterwards. What was so different about Rafale? What made him worthy of "life" and the bandits worthy of death?

    [Word Count: 1,000]
    [Total Word Count: 9,000/12,500]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Golden Lacrima (Page 9, Post Number 224) until 9/22/2019.
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Posts : 1273
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 5
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 1,746,742.5

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Magic: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Magic:

    Under The Sand Empty Re: Under The Sand

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 7th February 2019, 12:29 am

    Leona sat in the hallway trying to figure out why she was so upset over a magical summon's death while not even blinking when she killed bandits in the past. The blonde did not know why she even bothered to be upset anymore. She had grown up in the desert and had seen plenty of death firsthand. She had witnessed the Crimson Sashes kill people in raids on Nebdoui and had seen people starve to death during a famine. Death was a part of life.

    As strong as she was, even Leona would die one day. Maybe it was for the best that she left the world some day. She was incapable of creating; all she could do was destroy. For a moment she saw Spectral Kasim with a knowing smile on his face as if he had just won a debate. Leona forced herself to stand up and keep going, walking through him as he stared at her with empty eye sockets.

    "You know I am right. You cannot run from the truth forever." He said to her as she strode down the hallway. Leona ignored the ghost and kept going. The magic signature was close now. She was getting closer to finding what she was after and she would not stop now.

    Leona strode down the hallway as shadows cast by the torches danced on the floor. She was walking towards an open stone door that gave a glimpse of a circular room full of torches. Inside was a podium and a strong magic signature coming from within the room. Whatever she was after had to be in there.

    She entered a room with bare walls and a podium that held a large book made of solid gold. The book dominated the room and upon getting close to it, the book was indeed the source of the magic signature that had attracted the attention of Chief Elijah in the first place. Leona carefully approached the podium and laid hands on the book. A magic projection of a map of Desierto flickered to existence on a bare wall in front of her. The show transitioned into a view of pyramids with golden tops and prosperous, well-populated cities dotting the region as the same voice from earlier began a narration.

    "In your hands is the record of my kingdom, the domain of King Saarghon. It existed long before the sultans were even born and founded their pathetic hovels. It was the most glorious kingdom in all of Earthland." The voice spoke to Leona.

    "Are you... King Saarghon?" Leona asked in shaky Court Heiromesh. She needed to study the language more before trying to converse in it again. She could read it fairly well, but speaking it was another matter entirely.

    "I am King Saarghon." The voice announced proudly. Leona felt dumb for asking. The first room in the ruins only trumpeted how great the figure supposedly was.

    "What... why are you showing me these things?" Leona asked as the projection changed from cities and pyramids to a large pyramid with a golden top. It was encased inside a white wall with various sentences written in Court Heiromesh and the white walls had a tower in each corner. Inside the walls and leading to the pyramid entrance was a large temple with numerous columns and a podium just like the one she was standing behind.

    "I want you to see the glory that was my kingdom." King Saarghon continued. Leona listened to him as the view of the pyramid and attached temple changed to the view of prosperous, well-organized cities and generally happy people.

    "I want you to see life before the sultans. They think too much of themselves. They think that they were the ones who brought civilization to Desierto." He added. Leona remained silent on the issue. She could not really argue against that because she had spent most of her life in a desert village and could not make an effective argument from a city dweller's point of view. What she could argue was that the sultans focused too much on the cities under their control and left the desert villages to their own devices. That was good and bad in a number of ways.

    "I want you and your scholars to read my record and see for yourself." The king finally told her. Leona was curious as to what he meant by that.

    "The libraries of your cities may have records of my reign, but they are not the true records. They are what the sultans want their citizens to read. The sultans want their people to believe that civilized life is impossible without them." The king alleged, giving an answer as to why he asserted that his book was the true telling of events and not just another ancient propaganda piece.

    "Why me?" Leona asked the obvious question. The king laughed at her in a voice so loud that it hurt her ears.

    "Because you are the first to survive the ruins and find this record!" Came the answer in a tone full of insult, like the king could not believe that someone as dense as the Silver Wolf mage had made it this far. Leona kept silent. It took a lot of effort to get this far, mostly on the back of Sky Champion Rafale.

    "Now go and take my record to the civilized peoples. Show them the true history of Desierto, not what their leaders want them to see!" King Saarghon told her. Leona saw the projection end and the book suddenly float in the air. Leona took the heavy book into her hands and listened for any further instructions from the voice. None were forthcoming, so she started retracing her steps from the room to the entrance. It was going to be a long and dangerous hike.

    [Word Count: 1,000]
    [Total Word Count: 10,000/12,500]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Golden Lacrima (Page 9, Post Number 224) until 9/22/2019.
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Posts : 1273
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 5
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 1,746,742.5

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Magic: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Magic:

    Under The Sand Empty Re: Under The Sand

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 7th February 2019, 3:14 pm

    -Nebdoui, Chief Elijah's tent, six hours later-

    After successfully navigating all the traps and emerging from the ruins with the book, Leona staggered back into Nebdoui and entered the chief's tent. Now she was facing Chief Elijah, Joshua, and her mother Sophia. The key players were all here and all of them took an interest in the item Leona had recovered.

    "I see that you've managed to find the source of the magic signature." Chief Elijah said.

    "Yes, Chief. It's a book that's a record of the reign of someone called King Saarghon." Leona answered and followed up with an explanation of the item's significance other than it was made of solid gold. Chief Elijah raised an eyebrow. So did Sophia.

    "What's the deal about this King Saarghon?" Joshua asked the question that was on Leona's mind. Chief Elijah soon provided an answer.

    "He was an ancient king of Desierto who was a very powerful mage. Some even said that he was so strong that he could control the very sand of Desierto and use it to destroy his enemies." The old man explained. Sophia began sifting through all the scrolls in storage to try and support Elijah's claim with some hard evidence. Leona recalled the king's repeated railing against the sultans of the Tri-Cities Council.

    "Do the libraries of the Tri-Council Cities have any record of this king?" Leona asked Chief Elijah, not quite willing to say that she had carried on a conversation with the late king's spirit... if that was who she was really talking to. Something kept gnawing at her. How did the spirit of a long-dead king from ancient times know about developments in Desierto?

    "They do, but the only people who read them tend to be historians and academics. Also, not many people outside of those fields can read Court Heiromesh, the language of ancient Desierto." Elijah answered. Leona recalled the king's words about the true record being suppressed in favor of a version that the sultans deemed acceptable for public reading. She wondered if there was any truth to that or if it was a case of King Saarghon trying to practice some historical revisionism from beyond the grave. At any rate, she might have to pay a visit to the Tri-Council Cities at some point.

    "Do you think that I could go and see the records for myself one day?" Leona asked everyone present. It was not like she needed their permission to go. It was more a case of seeing whether going to the city to conduct the research was a good idea. King Saarghon claimed that the sultans buried his accomplishments to make themselves look like the bringers of civilization to Desierto. The sultans might not take kindly to someone snooping around and prying into records that they had no business looking at.

    "You may be able to do so, Leona. You've got your background as Silver Wolf's Guild Master to fall back on. You're also a former Rising Star in the civilized lands. Your reputation out here is growing." Sophia said to her daughter. Leona was not sure how to feel about that.

    "Yeah, but her reputation could work against her for a couple of reasons. First, she's something of a hero to the desert people, a fact the sultans might try to exploit for their own ends. Second, the sultans are deeply worried about mages they don't fully control traipsing around their cities." Joshua warned everyone. The dark-haired youth raised some valid points. Leona had never taken those facts into consideration before.

    "What can Leona do? The records are in the cities. I'm not sure that the civilized lands have any records of an ancient king." Sophia interjected. Leona was not so sure about that. She had an idea.

    "I may know someone who can help." Leona made an interjection of her own.

    "Oh?" Chief Elijah asked. Joshua and Sophia looked at her with curiosity.

    "A Doctor I met in Hargeon Town a long time ago. She's a woman named N. D. Anna. She studies and researches ancient civilizations." Leona answered. All three people looked surprised at Leona's answer.

    "I've heard of her." Chief Elijah said warily. It was Leona's turn to be surprised. Why was he so disdainful of her?

    "I've heard that she's nothing but a glorified tomb raider. She steals antiquities from other cultures and puts them on display in her home. Sometimes she sells them to museums." Elijah said with disdain. Leona was not sure what to make of that. She had technically committed tomb raiding in order to retrieve the golden book. She kept silent and let the chief speak.

    "That may be, but what choice do we have? We might need to consult this Dr. Anna. She's not beholden to the sultans." Sophia argued. Elijah did not look happy about that.

    "My Court Heiromesh isn't good enough to decipher it. Otherwise I'd take the book to Silver Wolf Guild Hall. The Tri-Cities Council doesn't have any power there. It's sovereign territory." Leona chimed in. Like all other land that belonged to guilds, Silver Wolf territory was the property of the guild and was sovereign territory. Unless the guild was accused of serious wrongdoing, no one could just waltz in and demand anything from them. If the problem was grave enough, Leona could call upon Fairy Tail and West Fiore Trading Company to help because Silver Wolf was part of the Silver Moon Faeries Alliance. However, Leona wanted to avoid any fighting that was not necessary.

    "I'm afraid to leave the book here because once the sultans hear about it, they'll likely send an army to take it." Leona said to them. Chief Elijah looked at her.

    "Then what do we do?" Sophia asked Chief Elijah.

    [Word Count: 1,000]
    [Total Word Count: 11,000/12,500]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Golden Lacrima (Page 9, Post Number 224) until 9/22/2019.
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Posts : 1273
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 5
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 1,746,742.5

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Magic: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Magic:

    Under The Sand Empty Re: Under The Sand

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 8th February 2019, 11:17 am

    "I... I don't know." Chief Elijah said to Sophia. Leona was also uncertain about what to do. If she took the book to Silver Wolf Guild Hall and the sultans found out, they might destroy Nebdoui, Berreb, and Regudo in retaliation. If she just surrendered the book to them when their army inevitably arrived to take it, the chance to study ancient Desierto history might be lost forever. This was a tough situation with no easy answer.

    "We have the time and the resources. I also know Court Heiromesh. Why don't we copy it here?" Sophia asked.

    "They'll search the village for any hidden copies of the book. If they discover copies, they'll punish us all." Joshua quickly shot the idea down. Leona desperately wanted to copy the contents and stash them away in Silver Wolf Guild Hall, but she did not want everything she had worked for to be destroyed by the sultans. She could not risk Nebdoui and its allies because she had no right to do it.

    "Joshua's right. We can't fight the army and hope to survive. We'll be declared outlaws and hunted down like animals. Any two-bit mage looking for a payday will be after us. There's plenty of mages looking for a payday." Leona agreed with the chief's son. She hated that thought, but it was an unpleasant reality. She was nowhere near the strength it took to oppose the sultans by herself. Even if she did fight their army and won, she would have to contend with bounty hunters looking to collect the bounty on her head. If she fought them off, the sultans would just keep sending armies and bounty hunters until Leona was finally killed.

    Even if Leona died buying time for the evacuation of Nebdoui, there was nowhere for the villagers to run. The royal armies would hunt down the desert dwellers until none were left alive and leave their corpses to feed the vultures. Nebdoui and its allies would only follow Leona to the grave.

    If by some miracle Leona managed to fight them to a stalemate, she would be declared an outlaw and be forever marked as such in Desierto. After having spent so much time fighting bandits in the region, none of them would want to suddenly ally with her. Even if they did decide to join with her, their assistance would demand a high price in return. Leona was not willing to bargain with them.

    The Silver Wolf Guild Master's hands were tied. There was nothing she could do against the power of the sultans without risking her life and/or reputation. She was not willing to risk the lives of everyone in Nebdoui, Berreb, and Regudo just to keep a book. If the sultan's representatives came calling, she had no choice but to bow to their demands. That was the only choice the blonde really had.

    Leona closed her eyes for a moment. She was tired from exploring the ruins, but she was also stressed out from the thought of three villages depending on her decision for their survival. Who was she to risk their lives? She had no right.

    "What will you do?" Chief Elijah asked Leona. Leona opened her eyes and gave the only answer she could give.

    "If the sultan's representatives want the book, they can have it. It's not worth the lives of everyone here." Leona said wearily. She hated to give up something she worked so hard to get, but when weighed against human lives, she would gladly let the book go if it kept Nebdoui and its allies safe. There were always other ruins to explore and other treasures to find.

    Chief Elijah seemed relieved to hear that answer.

    "Thank you." He said to her. Leona only took a deep breath in response. She took the golden book over to the wooden table and gently set it down. Sophia picked it back up and handed it to her daughter.

    "We don't need to involve the chief in this, Leona. If you're going to read it, read it in our tent." Sophia said to her. Her mother was right. She did not need to get any more people involved than she already had.

    "OK." Leona conceded. She was in no mood to argue with her mother. She just wanted to read the tome while there was still time to do it. There might not be much time before word spread and the sultan's representatives arrived to claim what they believed was theirs.

    "Thank you, Leona." Chief Elijah thanked her as the Jarnefeldts left the chief's tent for their own.

    -The Jarnefeldt tent, 15 minutes later-

    Leona entered the family tent and set down the book on the wooden table. She threw off her backpack and sat down on the wooden bench that passed for seating. It was not her guild office, but it would just have to do because time was of the essence.

    "OK, I'd better get going. We don't have much time." Leona said to Sophia. Sophia sat down right beside her.

    "We're going to do this together, Leona. Your Court Heiromesh isn't as good as mine. Let me help you." Sophia gently urged her daughter.

    "No. No one else should risk their life for this but me. It's my responsibility and my responsibility alone. I went into those ruins and I found it." Leona objected. If the sultans were going to imprison anyone who had read the book, it would be her. Sophia was the village's head scribe... she was too valuable to lose, but the sultans did not care about that.

    "We're reading this together, Leona. There's no discussion." Sophia sternly argued. Leona hated the loss of control she was experiencing, but there was no choice. Her mother's knowledge of Court Heiromesh was better and Leona needed that expertise.

    [Word Count: 12,000]
    [Total Word Count: 12,000/12,500]





    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Golden Lacrima (Page 9, Post Number 224) until 9/22/2019.
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Posts : 1273
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 5
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 1,746,742.5

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Magic: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Magic:

    Under The Sand Empty Re: Under The Sand

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt on 8th February 2019, 12:52 pm

    -The next morning-

    Leona woke up the next morning and realized that she had fallen asleep at the table while still wearing her Adaptable Armor and Argent Gloves. She slowly peeled her face off of the wood and found the book lying closed on the table. On top of it was a stack of papers written in Court Heiromesh and in the modern alphabet. Leona sighed when she realized what that meant. Her mother had written down the contents of the book while the younger blonde was asleep!

    The blonde was not happy, but there was nothing she could do about it now. The contents had already been written down for Leona to take back to her guild hall. Leona began to look the translated papers over and learned a bit about King Saargon, or at least what the book she had found said about him. While it could count as primary source material, one still had to exercise caution because it could be just an ancient propaganda piece by an egotistical individual.

    His capital city, Nevineh, was in the exact center of Desierto. In the city's center was a large pyramid with a golden top that was enclosed in walls that had a tower in each corner. Its entrance was a lavish temple to the king that was attended by priests and other individuals.

    King Saargon was also a very powerful mage who could control sand at a whim and use it to destroy entire armies. He used this power to unite Desierto under his rule, but the kingdom was short-lived because it lasted only one hundred years before falling apart because King Saargon gradually became more and more obsessed with finding a way to immortality than actually governing his kingdom. The more she read about the man the more unsure she was that his book was a definitive work about him.

    Leona would have to reserve judgment for later because she did not have time to read all of the translated work. She would have to find a way to hide it or get it to Silver Wolf Guild Hall in order to keep her mother out of danger in case what Joshua said was true.

    The blonde stood up and grabbed her pack, then went outside to search for her mother. Leona was worried that the worst had already happened and the sultan's representative was already here. Thankfully that was not the case. Sophia was standing outside with her brother Leonidas, who had both hands full of buckets of iron ingots. Sophia made a hand gesture and Leonidas walked away, leaving mother and daughter alone.

    "Leona. Glad to see you're awake!" Her mother said to her. Leona was not nearly so cheerful. She was worried that her mother had just made herself a target for copying the book.

    "I spent all night copying and translating the book's contents. You may want to take those papers back with you." Sophia hinted. Leona quickly agreed. She walked back into the tent, took the papers and placed them into her backpack, and went outside again. She called her Winged Lion summon and got on.

    "I'll see you later." Leona said to her mother. Sophia just waved as Leona took off and started the journey to Silver Wolf Guild Hall. Leona left the village behind and hoped for the best. She hoped that Nebdoui would still be standing the next time she was in Desierto.

    [Word Count: 580]
    [Total Word Count: 12,580/12,500]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Golden Lacrima (Page 9, Post Number 224) until 9/22/2019.

      Current date/time is 20th July 2019, 2:17 am